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Friday, November 21, 1997

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Presentation of Mary

1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59
1 Chronicles 29:10-12
Luke 19:45-48

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presentation and purification

"The entire populace was listening to Him and hanging on His words." —Luke 19:48

Today is the patronal feast day of Our Lady of Presentation Ministries. This book, One Bread, One Body, is one of our ministries. The mission of Presentation Ministries is to make disciples of all nations by teaching God's word (Mt 28:19-20), especially the Bible readings for daily Mass.

God's word is our food (Mt 4:4), our light (Ps 119:105), and the joy and happiness of our hearts (Jer 15:16). God's word can transform us in many ways, especially by purifying us. The Church is purified "in the bath of water by the power of the word" (Eph 5:26). We, as branches of Jesus, the Vine, are trimmed clean by God's word (Jn 15:3). As with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, God's word can burn in our hearts to purify us from sin and its effects (Lk 24:32).

Judas Maccabeus and his brothers purified the Temple (1 Mc 4:36) after it had been defiled by idolatry. Jesus also purified the Temple and changed it from a den of thieves to a house of prayer (Lk 19:45-46). We are the Temple of God (1 Cor 6:19; 1 Pt 2:5). In this year of Jesus in which we prepare for the year 2000, the Great Jubilee, let us ask Jesus to purify us through His word. Let us ask Our Lady of Presentation to teach us to pray: "Let it be done to us according to Your word" (see Lk 1:38). Let us present ourselves to God to be purified by His word.

Prayer:  Father, purify me through Your word for a genuine love of my brothers and sisters (1 Pt 1:22). May all members of Presentation Ministries be pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Promise:  "There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed." —1 Mc 4:58

Praise:  Ann and Joachim believed that God would work His plan through their daughter. They expressed their belief by presenting Mary to be raised in the Temple at the age of three.

Reference:  (For our testimony, order our book, The Presentation Story.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997